Novice Art Collectors Find Access Is Priceless
Susan Hancock came through the doors of the Pier 94 exhibition hall on the West Side of Manhattan recently with no time to waste. In half an hour, the booths of the 2007 Armory Show, the largest contemporary art fair in the country, would open: five days, 149 blue-chip galleries from all over the world, and nearly 2,000 artists with work for sale.
Ms. Hancock was there to buy. A relative newcomer to the collecting scene, she is passionate about the works she has bought, but is also undeniably enthralled by the world they have opened up to her: of dealers and parties, dinners and auctions.
Her collection — about 200 works — is small by the standard of any serious collector. Not a single one is worth more than $1 million (although a Lisa Yuskavage painting, for which she paid $75,000 a few years ago, is now worth about $850,000, she says). But it is growing: a reporter accompanied her during the five frenzied days last month that included the Armory Show as she spent $236,000 to build her collection. “When I started doing it seven years ago, it was a hobby — but now I’d say it’s pretty much my full-time occupation,” she said.( Collapse )